Caeleb Dressel has been the dominant swimmer in the world since 2017, with 13 world championship titles under his belt. Since the Tokyo Olympics are about to start in July, Dressel is currently in the news for the ongoing US Olympic Swimming Trials 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska.
There's no debate that Caeleb Dressel will be one of the swimmers to watch out for at the biggest quadrennial event in Japan. What sets him apart is his ability to match the caliber of Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps.
Ever since the 23-time Olympic champion hung up his boots after the Rio Olympics, questions have been raised as to who could be his potential successor. Dressel's exceptional performances at the World Championships seem to have answered the question.
Caeleb Dressel made his Olympic debut at the 2012 London Olympics as a 15-year-old. Four years later, the 13-time world champion competed in his second Olympics and won two gold medals in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay at the Rio Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics will be Caleb Dressel's third Olympic appearance, with hopes of keeping Michael Phelps' legacy alive at the mega-event.
Let's take a look at swimming events in which Caeleb Dressel can win gold medals at Tokyo Olympics
1. Men's 50m freestyle
50m Freestyle is the shortest swimming event in the freestyle category. Caeleb Dressel is seen as the strong favorite to win the 50m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics despite the fact he will face tough competition from Rio Olympic bronze-medalist and compatriot Nathan Adrian. Dressel will also be up against strong medal prospect Benjamin Proud of Great Britain in the 50m freestyle
Caeleb Dressel is a 2-time world champion and holds the world record with a timing of 20.16 seconds in the 50m freestyle. Dressel’s first Olympic participation in the 50m freestyle was in 2012 as a 15-year-old, where he finished 145th overall.
2. Men's 100m freestyle
Caeleb Dressel has been one of the best freestyle swimmers in recent years, with three world titles under his belt. Thus, he is considered a strong gold medal prospect in men’s 100m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics next month.
Nonetheless, the fact is that he will have his task cut out to clinch the Olympic gold. Dressel will be up against defending Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia and Great Britain's Duncan Scott. The rivalry between Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers in 100m freestyle is likely to gain attention at the quadrennial event in Japan.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Caeleb Dressel finished sixth by clocking 48.02 seconds. He recently created the US Open record in the 100m freestyle with a time of 47.39 seconds at the US Olympic Swimming Trials 2021.
3. Men's 100m butterfly
Caeleb Dressel will compete in the men's 100m butterfly as a world record holder and is considered the clear favorite to win the coveted gold medal for this event at the Tokyo Olympics next month. However, there will be two strong contenders who will make things tough for Dressel in his pet event. Those two are Rio Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling and 2019 Worlds silver medalist Andrey Minakov.
Caeleb Dressel is a two-time world champion and holds a 100m butterfly world record timing of 49.50 seconds, which he achieved at the 2019 World Championships.
4. Men's 4x100m freestyle relay
Caeleb Dressel was part of the US swimming team that won Olympic Gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. It was his first gold medal in the Olympics. He teamed up with Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian in the 4x100m freestyle final.
The US men's 4x100m freestyle team will be defending their gold at the Tokyo Olympics. This time Caeleb Dressel has teamed up with Zach Apple, Blake Pieroni and Brooks Curry to retain their 4x100m freestyle relay Olympic title.
The 4x100m freestyle relay teams from Great Britain, Australia and France will be strong competitors for the US team when they go up against each other at the Tokyo Olympics.
5. Men's 4x100m Medley Relay
Caeleb Dressel was part of the US swimming team that won the gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. This gave him a second gold medal in the Olympics. But Dressel only swam in preliminary heats and wasn't part of the final U.S. freestyle relay team.
The US men's 4x100m Medley team will enter the Tokyo Olympics as defending champions. Caeleb Dressel will spearhead the men's medley team and is likely to team up with Zach Apple, Nathan Adrian, Chase Kalisz and Ryan Murphy
The US men's medley team will be up against 4x100m medley teams from Great Britain and Australia, who were silver and bronze medalists respectively at the Rio Olympics.
6. 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay
For a time in the history of the Olympics, a mixed event in swimming will make its debut in Tokyo this year. The quadrennial event in Japan will witness men and women in a team for mixed medley relay.
The US team holds the world record in the 4x100m mixed medley relay (3:38.56s) in which Caeleb Dressel contributed by clocking 49.92 seconds in the third lead off at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The US mixed medley team will likely comprise of Dressel, Lilly King, Ryan Murphy, and Katie Ledecky.
Though the US 4x100m mixed medley relay team is considered favorite to win the gold medal, they will face stiff competition from the Australian mixed medley team at the Tokyo Olympics.